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Class of worker

Codes and Frequencies

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CLASSWK identifies persons with occupations as self-employed or wage workers.


The data are roughly comparable between samples, but there is a significant element of inference involved for Canada 1891 and Canada 1911. The data for Canada are derived from two separate questions intended to identify wage earners and employers in 1891 and from three separate questions intended to identify wage earners, own-account workers, and employers in 1911. For Canada 1891, CLASSWK codes all other persons who reported an occupation as working on own account (i.e., self-employed but without having employees). This likely overstates the number of self-employed persons to some unknown degree. We assign these cases a separate code from their U.S. equivalent in order to emphasize the speculative nature of the classification.

Own account workers are not identified in Scotland 1891 or 1901. It's not clear whether these cases have been coded as employer, wage worker, or unknown.


  • Canada 1891: Persons with an occupation
  • Canada 1911: All persons
  • England and Wales 1891 (100%): All persons
  • Scotland 1891 (100%): All persons
  • Scotland 1901 (100%): All persons
  • England and Wales 1901 (100%): All persons
  • Great Britain 1911: All persons
  • United States 1910: Persons with an occupation


  • Canada: 1891, 1911
  • Great Britain: 1891a, 1891b, 1901a, 1901b, 1911
  • United States: 1910